Spoken arts label Cadabra Records presents Bleak December's adaptation of SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE's classic mystery, The Hound Of The Baskervilles.
Featuring a full cast audio play by the same team that delivered Cadabra's recently-released rendition of Bram Stoker's, Dracula, SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE's The Hound Of The Baskervilles showcases top-tier audio delivery with professional stage and screen actors including Sir Derek Jacobi (Gladiator, The King's Speech, Underworld: Evolution, Frazier, Dr. Who) as Sherlock Holmes.
The haunting tale will see deluxe vinyl-only release through Cadabra Records on August 11th in a limited run of 300 copies on 150-gram vinyl, packed in a deluxe heavyweight tip-on gatefold sleeve. The record features detailed liner notes by producer Anthony D. P. Mann of Bleak December, and newly commissioned art by Adam Burke.
Hear a segment of The Hound Of The Baskervilles at THIS LOCATION and find preorders for the LP HERE.
"They were the footprints of a gigantic hound!" ...and the audience shudders at the suggestion - a giant, demonic devil-dog that stalks the mysterious and desolate terrain of the vast moor where the tale is set, enacting a centuries-old blood curse on the Baskerville family. In many ways, it's the perfect Sherlock Holmes story, and certainly the most well-known, having been adapted for stage and screen countless times (and in as many languages) since its first appearance as a Strand Magazine serialization in 1901.
In 1893, SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE had tired of his infamous creation, and killed Sherlock Holmes off at the hands of his arch nemesis, Professor Moriarty, in a dramatic plunge off the Reichenbach Falls in the appropriately-titled The Final Problem. Eight years later, in a response to public furor for more Holmes, the author wrote the story as a hitherto unpublished work from a period in the detective's career prior to his fateful encounter with Moriarty. The Hound Of The Baskervilles was indeed a massive success, and CONAN DOYLE soon resurrected Holmes from the dead, continuing to write new adventures until 1927.
Just what is it about The Hound that has endeared itself to audiences more than any of the fifty-six short stories and four novels that CONAN DOYLE published in his lifetime? After all, this is a story that is fairly light on Sherlock Holmes himself, as he is absent for a fair amount of the action, faithful sidekick Dr. Watson standing-in as witness to a fair chunk of the action. The appeal may lie in that, of all the original Holmes adventures, this one closest resembles a horror story... and audiences do love a good fright.
The ingredients are perfect for an evening of thrills and terror... There is an unexplained death, a spooky old house that is drenched in the legacy of its own bloody history, strange sounds and lights in the night, an escaped inmate from a mental asylum loose upon the moor, and the piece-de-resistance: the Hound itself - a fierce, glowing supernatural presence that is horrific and bloodthirsty. Is it any wonder why the story holds a place among the great literary chillers of all time?
When adapting The Hound Of The Baskervilles for audio, it was very important that the darker elements be brought front and center, and the listener transplanted to one of the perfect natural locations for a horror story. In this production, you can hear the gurgle of the deadly peat bogs and almost feel the spray of the mist on your face brought by the chill wind that blows across the ominous moor. Baskerville Hall comes alive, every creaking floorboard and mysterious scurry - this is a house where the shadows seem to have a life of their own. And in the periphery throughout, is the figure of the Great Detective... and we have been blessed.
Sir Derek Jacobi is a legend, and among that rare breed of distinguished actors that has been a fixture on film, television and the stage for multiple generations. I Claudius, Cadfael, Gladiator, The King's Speech - he's even won an Emmy Award for his guest work on Frazier! - was there ever a time when we weren't aware of Sir Derek? His is a return to the proper Sherlock Holmes of yesteryear - a calculating, sardonic wit that is always several steps ahead of the game, yet with a warmth in his portrayal that both appeals and makes the part his own. To play Watson opposite this man, is an honor for which I am humbled.
Bleak December's The Hound Of The Baskervilles is brought to life by an exceptional cast of our house regulars, including Ilke Hincer as a dashing Sir Henry, Nikolas Yuen as Mortimer, Amie Bello as Mrs. Barrymore, and Barry Yuen providing some levity in all this darkness as Inspector Stapleton. The thrilling original score by Brent Holland is reminiscent of the sound of Hammer and the BBC at their finest, capturing the tone and era which inspired this adaptation.
We hope you enjoy this special presentation of The Hound Of The Baskervilles, which has been augmented for this long-playing edition from Cadabra Records. Special thanks must be paid to this label's Jonathan Dennison for his enthusiasm with these releases, my Bleak December (and long-time) producing partner Bill Bossert for his unerring ability to make my work better... and the greatest of thanks to YOU, dear listener, for supporting these productions - the "Theater of the Imagination" is alive and well, and I can assure you that there are more audio nightmares to follow in the very near future... - liner notes by Anthony D. P. Mann
The Hound Of The Baskervilles Full Cast:
Sherlock Holmes - Sir Derek Jacobi
Dr. Watson - Anthony D. P. Mann
Sir Henry Baskerville - Ilke Hincer
Mortimer - Nikolas Yuen
Mrs. Barrymore - Amie Bello
Inspector Stapleton - Barry Yuen
Hotel Attendant - Lisa Morrissey
Boy - James Hoegerl
Policeman - Richard Boyer
Music composed and performed by Brent Holland